President: We can all be carriers of light, love and hope

The following is President Anthony Carmona's Divali address:

"Namaste fellow citizens,

The ancient festival of Divali has survived, intact and sacred through the ages, because of its core message- good over evil; light over darkness. Hindus worldwide are motivated to keep this holy tradition of prayers, lights, cuisine, song and dance alive, because, the ultimate goal is a timeless manifestation of doing good and bringing light to even the darkest corners of our world.

President officially declares October 18th as Divali holiday

President Anthony Carmona has officially declared Wednesday 18th October, 2017 as the date of the public holiday in celebration of the festival of Divali.

The date has been in the public domain for several months now but unless it's officially declared by the President, it's not yet official.

A statement by the Office of the President made the announcement today, stating that the declaration was in accordance with the provisions of the Public Holidays and Festivals Act.

President to swear in two judges today

Kathy-Ann Waterman and Jacqueline Wilson will take the judicial oath at 1.30 pm today.

The swearing-in ceremony comes less than 24 hours after an Appeal Court panel dismissed an injunction blocking the president from proceeding with the appointments. 

This morning the Office of the President released a statement confirming the appointments will take place at this afternoon.

The Office of the President says the appointments are being done in accordance with Section 104 of the Constitution and with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

Injunction granted - High Court stops President from appointing two new judges today

High Court judge Frank Seepersad has granted an injunction stopping President Anthony Carmona from appointing two new judges today on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).

The injunction followed a late sitting of the court that ran into this morning.

Attorneys representing a former government minister Devant Maharaj sought the last-minute injunction to stop the swearing-in of two new judges.

International: Former US President George HW Bush hospitalised again

Former President George H.W. Bush is in Methodist Hospital in Houston following treatment for a recurrence of a case of pneumonia.

Bush, who is 92, has been there since Friday for observation, spokesman Jim McGrath says.

McGrath issued a brief statement:

"President George H. W. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday for observation due to a persistent cough that prevented him from getting proper rest.

"It was subsequently determined he had a mild case of pneumonia, which was treated and has been resolved.

President Carmona off to Barbados

President Anthony Carmona left the country this morning for Barbados, where he will deliver a lecture titled, "Youth and Caribbean Identity: Redefining Caribbean Pride for the 21st Century Youth", a statement by the Office of the President said. 

A statement by the President's Office said this forum is being hosted by the University of the West Indies Student Today Alumni Tomorrow organization, headed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor, UWI Cave Hill, Barbados.

The President will return on Friday 21st April, 2017.

Spicer offers fresh apology: 'I've let the president down'

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Wednesday offered a fresh apology for minimizing the atrocities of Adolf Hitler in his comments on Syria, amid a wave of indignation at home and abroad.

"I made a mistake, there is no other way to say it," Spicer told a forum at the Newseum in Washington, adding that the damage was especially unfortunate because "it's a very holy week for the Christian people and the Jewish people."

Spicer said his gaffe was "painful to myself" and was "disappointing because I think I've let the president down."

Designer defends President's costume

The designer behind the President’s Carnival costume is defending His Excellency saying the portrayal should be celebrated rather than criticized.

One newspaper claims some devout Hindus felt the Cazabon costume made a mockery of Hindu priests.

But Dhisha Moorjani, the owner of the House of Jaipur says her 2017 section called “Apna Desh” has nothing to do with religion.

Morning tea: How the Obamas and Trumps will transfer power tomorrow

Before he takes the oath of office Friday, Donald Trump will sit down with President Barack Obama for a traditional tea-or-coffee meeting and share a carpool ride to the Capitol — quaint rituals for two men with such a long, public rivalry.

But first, Obama will get up early for his last White House security briefing as chief executive of the United States. He may also issue last-minute pardons or declare sites as national monuments before stepping down.